Current Research Interests:
The advancement of science and technology and improvement of life quality has always been propelled by the discoveries on, while limited by the availability of, materials. Compared with metallic and inorganic counterparts, organic and polymeric materials are unique in their molecular nature that allows meticulous structural designs for targeted properties and hierarchical assembly into applicable forms. Thus, understanding structure-property-function relationship and the synthetic ability to tailor chemical structures toward desired properties for specific applications are of central importance in chemical and material sciences. Our research is therefore focused on design and synthesis of conjugated organic and polymeric materials, organic/inorganic hybrid materials, and their applications in energy and environment. The research projects are highly interdisciplinary so that students get extensive training on organic and polymer synthesis under air-free conditions, on basic and advanced characterization techniques including TEM, SEM, XRD, and AFM, etc., and on device fabrication and engineering. Such multi-faceted experiences can help the students be better prepared to succeed in real-world settings, whether it is in the exploration of new scientific discoveries or the refinement of industrial processes.
Current Research Projects:
1. Precise nanostructuring organic/inorganic multi-component composites through supramolecular cooperation of orthogonal non-covalent interactions.
2. Pt-containing conjugated small molecules and polymers for applications in organic photovoltaics (OPVs).
3. Design and synthesis of structurally diverse poly(chacolgenylene vinylene)s.
4. Unconventional conjugated polymers derived from a common set of trans-enediyene monomers.
5. Templated synthesis of metal-organic framework (MOF) nanostructures and tailored construction of charge-separated MOFs.